Day 17: You don’t have to be what they say you should (Muhammad Ali)

Our principal Dr. W. Conard is definitely one of the finest leaders in the public education sector in Massachusetts and probably in the entire nation. He is a leader who isn’t afraid to show his real emotions, his passions and his mistakes. He is a real person inside and out. One of my coworkers even said that if there was an analysis of all the principals in and around New England, there will only be one or two principals whose staff and faculty members can collectively say that they really adore their principal – the others would just honestly declare their abhorrence against their boss/principal. At RHS, we can all agree that we like our boss because he is simply the best! Then she went on to share to us about the time when Dr. Conard showed up in the wake of our colleague’s dad and our colleague later on said, “I was surprised to see him at my dad’s wake – I am just a para! But it really showed that he cares about his staff members. This example along with many other stories I’ve heard really show how much Dr. Conard really cared; how he really understood his staff; how he viewed us as humans and not just a part of the greater organization. He modeled to us how to be effective in and out of the classrooms by being ourselves; by not being afraid to be who we are but becoming who we should be!

That’s why this morning when we had our last faculty meeting, there was a deluge of tears.

We couldn’t help it.

I tried to compose myself, too but it was just too hard to do so. It was like losing a great friend! In the slideshow that he presented, he mentioned about Muhammad Ali. Being a fan of Manny Pacquiao it really perked me up which eventually redirected my almost reddish eyes back to the screen onstage.

Because Dr. Conard is leaving to go to the Galvin Middle School in Canton, MA starting next fall, he reassured that if we continue what we started under his leadership, our school will continue to become one of the best high schools in MA – and if we remember these lines from Muhammad Ali:

“Just don’t forget: You don’t have to be what they say you should!”

We will be fine.

And you will be fine, too – if you will seek to be who you want to be and not listen to what people would want you to be. You have to follow what you think is right and what is in your heart.

The Nike logo says it all, “Just do it!”

And surely, you will be fine!

– A. M. S.